1151 N. State Street, Elgin, IL 60123
The Harm A. Weber Academic Center is home to Judson’s School of Art, Design, and Architecture and the Benjamin P. Browne Library. The facility was designed by C. Alan Short, professor of Architecture at Cambridge University and constructed with local firms of Burnidge Cassell Associates as Architects of Record and builder Shales McNutt. The project began as an international design competition for a new library and academic building. In 2009, the building was received a Gold LEED designation from the USGBC’s leading rating system to acknowledge that it is one of the greenest, most energy efficient and high-performing buildings. The 88,000-square foot facility was designed with an energy saving hybrid natural/mechanical ventilation system. The system uses natural ventilation for most temperatures and a mechanical mode with the temperature and humidity exceed certain levels. A central atrium provides natural light for the inner areas. The facility’s landscaping of a walking path and prairie grasses provides a return to a more natural setting while detention areas and bio-swales drain to a retention pond preventing sediment from running into the creek flowing through campus. Also, the facility’s location near two city bus stops, many bicycle racks, and carpool spaces emphasize alternative transportation methods.
What’s a Hybrid Ventilation System? Hybrid ventilation, also known as mixed mode ventilation, utilizes natural ventilation during favorable conditions and then should use mechanical, low-powered motors/fans to distribute the fresh air when the natural ventilation proves less effective.